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How a Snowmobile and a Trip to the Bahamas Helped Rory McIlroy Get His Groove

In mid-August, Rory McIlroy and his performance team escaped to the Bahamas for five days of concentrated practice and training. McIlroy hit the range, the weight room and, of course, the links. The effort paid off: he ended the summer with a brace of wins — the Deutsche Bank Championship and the TOUR Championship — and claimed the 2016 FedExCup.

McIlroy also used the relative seclusion for final testing of Nike Golf’s latest shoe: The Nike Lunar Control Vapor, putting to paces its Articulated Integrated Traction outsole.


After an initial trial on the driving range, McIlroy played nine holes and deliberately hit extra shots from all possible angles — side-hill, down-hill lies, bunkers and more — to push the limit of the shoe.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve played golf in spiked footwear, and up until two years ago those spikes were metal,” McIlroy recalls. “Through its drive to innovate and bring the sport to new places, Nike has created a new traction system that provides me with a stable base to push off the ground and deliver the distance I need off the tee.”


Inspired by the tread on snowmobiles, the new traction system, which was first introduced in the Nike Flyknit Elite, decouples the medial heel and lateral forefoot area to help propel the athlete through the swing. The articulated channels also allow for better balance while keeping the golfer lower to the ground. A unique TPU tread features a protruding series of tooth-like tracks allowing for more points of contact for maximum traction that continuously engage with the ground as weight shifts from heel to toe.

“From the beginning, our goal was to help athletes perform at the highest level,” said Gentry Humphrey, VP Nike Golf Footwear. “Nike Articulated Integrated Traction’s geometry provides great traction on any surface and disperses stud pressure. Not having to place receptacles on the outsole means more room for extra foam underfoot to provide amazing cushioning.”


That means it is both effective in a bunker and friendly on the green.

In the Nike Lunar Control Vapor, Nike’s new traction system is married to a full-length Lunarlon midsole and Nike Flywire. Combined these elements help keep the foot stable, and cushioned, through the swing. A lightweight premium microfiber upper with a 2-year waterproof guarantee to keep feet dry.


Combined, these elements form a winning formula: One which four-time major winner McIlroy is excited to debut this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions.

The Nike Lunar Control Vapor, available in men’s and women’s sizing, will first be available in the United States in limited colorways via the Nike+ App on November 22. Additional colorways will launch on on November 25.

Read More: Nike Golf